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Aging Gracefully is a Myth


October 6, 2011 by Alison Grisham

By Alison Grisham

I finally went to get my new eyeglasses yesterday.  For over a year I’ve been getting by with some cheap, off-the-rack readers.  But I’ve gotten to that stage in my life where I need one prescription for actual reading and another one just to help me walk around… that is if I want to quit apologizing to inanimate objects for bumping into them.  Of course I also carry pairs in my purse and keep extras for back-up since I lose the originals with surprising regularity.  By the sheer number of eyeglasses I have lying around, you’d think Foster Grant was living with me. 

Ultimately I had to bite the bullet and get my eyesight straightened out.  Unfortunately, two different prescriptions can mean only one thing… progressive lenses… which is really just a polite way of saying… bi-focals.

 So I began the process of selecting frames and eventually ended up with about 30 possible candidates. The next step was the elimination process, which involved looking into a small but powerful mirror so I could get a better look at each pair.  Ok, for the record, I’d rather be dipped into a swampy pool of leaches than see myself in that mirror ever again. 

Every little spot, vein, and blemish came into view with remarkable clarity.  I could barely recognize myself.  But I’m sure the look of panic made it easy to read my thoughts.  Holy moon craters! Are those my pores? I could plant pumpkin seeds in those things.   But the worst was yet to come.  I spotted it just below my chin.  There it was, all dark and defiant… just growing there for all to see… a long unsightly hair protruding from my face.  I’m not talking about a hair the size of an eyelash here.  I’m talking about a monster so long that it had started to curl at the end, which only seemed to give it dimension.  What in the world? There’s a ponytail on my neck?

Now remember, I was picking out eyeglasses. It’s not like I could say, “hey hold on a minute while I trim my beard.”  No.  I had to be subtle about it.  So I casually put my hand under my chin, as if I was mulling something over, and pretty much left it that way for the next 30 minutes. 

The rogue hair… as it turned out… was ¾ of an inch long.  I know because I measured it right after I removed it with hedge clippers, which brings me to my point. This thing didn’t just creep up over night.  Clearly, it’s been renting space on my chin for quite a while.  So where were my friends?  Why didn’t anyone tell me?

In light of this incident, I’m making the following plea for aging women everywhere. If ​you see someone with a giant piece of spinach stuck in her teeth… mention it.  If you see a friend’s zipper open, shirt unbuttoned, mascara running, a make-up line on her face, toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her foot, or something unsightly hanging from her nose… mention it.  And without question, if you see a toupee growing out of your girlfriend’s chin… tell her.  It’s your womanly duty.

At any rate, I’ve learned my lesson.  I gave the mirror my email address and we’re having lunch next week.  She’s not great to look at.  But at least she’s honest.






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